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JamieLogical

Drinks Package?

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On 1/24/2020 at 8:10 AM, JamieLogical said:

 

I probably would have taken my first cruise, because that was one my SO booked before we even started dating. It was a year out when I met him and he had booked it to join a good friend who would be celebrating a birthday. I really had no idea what to expect from a cruise at that point. But there is zero doubt in my mind that I wouldn't have become obsessed with cruising the way I have (will be going on my 8th & 9th cruises barely over two years later) were it not for the drink package, because what made me fall in love with cruising was the "all inclusive" nature of it. The idea of paying for the whole vacation up front and truly just being able to relax and not stress about anything ON the actual trip. I had never experienced that before my first cruise and I have come to love it passionately.

If "included" (never free) alcohol is so important to you, why aren't you considering the cruise lines, like Regent, Silversea, Crystal, Seabourn that offer it?

Forgot Viking, with "no Kids" policy.

Edited by Mahogany
forgot something

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On 1/24/2020 at 6:25 AM, JamieLogical said:

 

I'll be sailing on Princess in August. We wanted to do an Alaska cruise and all in, with the drink package, the Princess sailing worked out to be significantly cheaper than NCL would be for the same week. Looking forward to trying a new (to me) line. I know it will be a VERY different demographic being both a Princess cruise and an Alaska itinerary. My SO sailed on Princess for his first ever cruise back on his honeymoon with his ex-wife so we won'e be flying completely blind, but I am sure it will be a very different experience!

please forgive me a few off topic sentences. You will love the Alaskan experience on a Princess sailing. I hope it’s on one of the smaller ships (< 3000 or so peeps) with a full promenade deck. Lots of open spaces for uncrowded viewing. Reserve the Sanctuary for glacier viewing ASAP once onboard. 

 

Back to the discussion of beverage packages. Just want to clarify some information on this thread. Princess does not require all in the same cabin to purchase a drinks package. They’ve been running a sale for a while now called Best. Sale. Ever. You can add it to any previously booked cruise without losing original perks. Or add it to a new cruise booking. 
$30 a day pp for prepaid auto-grats to staff and a beverage pkg including bar grats. (The previously mentioned $79 a day one so this is a great deal). To get this call a princess vacation planner. Bestdg2 is the code. 
For $40 or there about you get the above and it adds unlimited wi-fi (avail with online booking. )
I am really looking forward to the reviews once virgin sails. Virgin offers a lot that I’ve been looking for. 
if any of you who are booked do write reviews would you be so kind as to include information regarding smoking on the outer decks? Are cigars allowed in the outdoor areas?   Is it contained to a certain area? Is it easy to avoid and still circumvent the upper decks?  And does the smoke from casinos or other inside areas permeate inside areas of the ship?  I have respiratory issues that are exacerbated by second hand smoke so I do my best to limit my exposure.   Thank you in advance. 

Edited by HaveDogWillTravel

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I guess we'll all just have to wait until the initial sailings to find out what "reasonably priced" really is... I'll be finding out for myself in 112 days...

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On 1/25/2020 at 7:28 AM, AKR2011 said:

I get that everyone prioritizes different things, but I also understand where @JamieLogical is coming from. My first cruise, we didn't think enough about about prices (we were on honeymoon and all) and our bar bill was over $1500 for 7 days 😮 Then I started keeping a notebook on our next couple cruises and limiting our budget. There were specials on NCL back then, and that's what we would go with...but keeping a notebook was not ideal. And as the prices went up, the beverage package was the best option. Now you just pay $20/day to cover the gratuities, and it definitely makes budgeting easier. I have looked at other lines, and I personally decided that if the price was right, I would pay up to $60 including grats. for a beverage package. I won't go back to keeping a notebook. If Virgin had a reasonable beverage package, I would be in as well. They also haven't spoken much about their regular prices except that they'll be comparable to land prices. Now do they mean land in NYC or Miami, or look and in Small Town USA? So many questions, but I too am excited about the product. 

 

I also get where the OP is coming from. For us, a drink package is usually a savings (sadly lol!) and I really do enjoy having everything paid for ahead of time-it allows me to really feel at ease on vacation. Our last cruise that we took before drink packages left us with an $1800 bill at the end and I believe the only on thing on there besides drinks and extra tips was a single ornament 🙂 In fairness, that was our first vacation that we went into without holding back-we got whatever we wanted whenever we wanted. We've grown up a bit since then but we always get a drink package now just to take one more thought out of vacation. We are looking at VV for our 10 year anniversary this fall and while we would love a drink package, we are ok with going "all out" for a 4 day cruise....I'm hoping a shorter trip will help with the sticker shock of the bill at the end.

 

We are considering a suite and I really wish that they would elaborate on the "open bar" in the suites. Some of the verbiage makes it seem like it's only the first round, but then I read "on us" in a lot of places. I think if it truly was open bar for while we're getting ready or relaxing on the balcony at night it would really help us justify the price difference. We have only ever sailed in regular balconies and we would be perfectly fine in one for this trip too but since it's a bigger anniversary we'd like to pamper ourselves a bit. My frugal side keeps saying the price difference would probably cover our drinks for the trip though lol!

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On 1/27/2020 at 9:33 AM, KG1924 said:

 

I also get where the OP is coming from. For us, a drink package is usually a savings (sadly lol!) and I really do enjoy having everything paid for ahead of time-it allows me to really feel at ease on vacation. Our last cruise that we took before drink packages left us with an $1800 bill at the end and I believe the only on thing on there besides drinks and extra tips was a single ornament 🙂 In fairness, that was our first vacation that we went into without holding back-we got whatever we wanted whenever we wanted. We've grown up a bit since then but we always get a drink package now just to take one more thought out of vacation. We are looking at VV for our 10 year anniversary this fall and while we would love a drink package, we are ok with going "all out" for a 4 day cruise....I'm hoping a shorter trip will help with the sticker shock of the bill at the end.

 

We are considering a suite and I really wish that they would elaborate on the "open bar" in the suites. Some of the verbiage makes it seem like it's only the first round, but then I read "on us" in a lot of places. I think if it truly was open bar for while we're getting ready or relaxing on the balcony at night it would really help us justify the price difference. We have only ever sailed in regular balconies and we would be perfectly fine in one for this trip too but since it's a bigger anniversary we'd like to pamper ourselves a bit. My frugal side keeps saying the price difference would probably cover our drinks for the trip though lol!

 

Before drink packages were common, many people were shocked by their bar tab at the end of their cruises.  It wasn't uncommon for people to rack up tabs of $1,000 or more.  Now throw in casino charges, spa, etc. and some people will end their cruise with on board account balances that exceed the cost of the cruise itself.  Experienced cruisers are aware of this, but I fear many of the new cruisers that Virgin attracts will be taken by surprise. 

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16 hours ago, mnocket said:

 

Before drink packages were common, many people were shocked by their bar tab at the end of their cruises.  It wasn't uncommon for people to rack up tabs of $1,000 or more.  Now throw in casino charges, spa, etc. and some people will end their cruise with on board account balances that exceed the cost of the cruise itself.  Experienced cruisers are aware of this, but I fear many of the new cruisers that Virgin attracts will be taken by surprise. 

 

$1000 would still be cheaper than the drink package on my RC cruise later this year

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16 hours ago, mnocket said:

Experienced cruisers are aware of this, but I fear many of the new cruisers that Virgin attracts will be taken by surprise. 

 

If they get the demographic they're hoping for (and there's no guarantee they will), they're already used to paying for overpriced cocktails at various venues and events. 🙂

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2 hours ago, hotsauce126 said:

 

$1000 would still be cheaper than the drink package on my RC cruise later this year

Were you on a World Cruise - or do you have a, ahem, problem?🙄

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1 hour ago, Mahogany said:

Were you on a World Cruise - or do you have a, ahem, problem?🙄

 

The cruise hasn't happened yet, but I'm saying the total for the drink package on royal caribbean for a 7 day cruise for two people is more than $1000, so $1000 bar tab would still be better 

Edited by hotsauce126

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On 1/29/2020 at 1:48 PM, hotsauce126 said:

 

The cruise hasn't happened yet, but I'm saying the total for the drink package on royal caribbean for a 7 day cruise for two people is more than $1000, so $1000 bar tab would still be better 

My apologies: I was on a Royal Carib about 8 years ago and no way paid that much for the drink package which I just looked up. Wow, what a money maker. But I admit, paying as much as I did, I had no reservations about trying something new and discarding it without finishing to try something else!

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If the fact that you absolutely need an all-inclusive drink package (along with your bank account) limit your travel options,  then Virgin is probably not the cruise line for you. Luckily,  there are so many other cruise options. 

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OMG! If you have to have an all inclusive drink package then go on another cruise line. It's that simple.  Everyone else either doesn't drink that much, can manage their drinking within their budget,  or has no budget.

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4 hours ago, flgrl67 said:

OMG! If you have to have an all inclusive drink package then go on another cruise line. It's that simple.  Everyone else either doesn't drink that much, can manage their drinking within their budget,  or has no budget.

I was on a Carnival cruise and during my daily afternoon sauna sessions I met this guy who was complaining that he needed to sweat out all the alcohol he was drinking. He was a casino player and made enough points for free drinks when gambling; however, Carnival has a daily limit of 15 comp drinks per day. He said he has to drink 15 drinks every day to Max out his comp.😲🙄😬

Edited by kwokpot

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I was speaking to a Virgin rep a couple of weeks ago (not a phone rep but the Business Development Manager) and asked the average age of those who have booked. I believe she said 49. We did talk drinks and they should be on the lower end. MSC, for example, has many alcoholic drink offerings for under $6. Hopefully this is the range Virgin will shoot for.  
 

Also note no cruise line has “free drink packages”. On Contemporary AND premium lines, you can get pricing without the included drinks and often save hundreds. NCL is the only line which makes this difficult as you will need to opt for guarantee cabin to do so.  When drink packages are offered as a perk or free item, the true cost of the package is around $450 per person. Ie...Cruise is $900 less without the free beverage package.  Look at it this way...if the cruise line did not come out ahead on those packages, they would not offer them.  The cruise lines are for profit companies.
 

Ps. For Virgin, Their pricing on the website is often displayed as “per cabin”.  

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4 hours ago, Robinsoncruiseso said:

I was speaking to a Virgin rep a couple of weeks ago (not a phone rep but the Business Development Manager) and asked the average age of those who have booked. I believe she said 49. We did talk drinks and they should be on the lower end. MSC, for example, has many alcoholic drink offerings for under $6. Hopefully this is the range Virgin will shoot for.  
 

Also note no cruise line has “free drink packages”. On Contemporary AND premium lines, you can get pricing without the included drinks and often save hundreds. NCL is the only line which makes this difficult as you will need to opt for guarantee cabin to do so.  When drink packages are offered as a perk or free item, the true cost of the package is around $450 per person. Ie...Cruise is $900 less without the free beverage package.  Look at it this way...if the cruise line did not come out ahead on those packages, they would not offer them.  The cruise lines are for profit companies.
 

Ps. For Virgin, Their pricing on the website is often displayed as “per cabin”.  

 

Not sure if that middle paragraph was directed at me, but I don't have any expectation of a "free" drink package. Just a drink package period to take out the stress and hassle of purchasing per drink. I don't want to keep fueling this thread, since I long ago concluded that Virgin just simply isn't for me, as disappointing as that is. However, as the OP, I do feel the need to chime in once in a while to clarify some misconceptions.

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5 hours ago, Robinsoncruiseso said:

Also note no cruise line has “free drink packages”. On Contemporary AND premium lines, you can get pricing without the included drinks and often save hundreds. NCL is the only line which makes this difficult as you will need to opt for guarantee cabin to do so.

 

I completely forgot about the part where NCL started doing this mathematical sleight-of-hand. I think you used to be able to call up certain TAs and get 'no frills' pricing while still being able to pick a specific room, but that's probably over by now. 

 

So yeah, the 'free drinks' are priced into everyone else's fares. 

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Save up a $1000 prior to cruise, put it in the safe and drink like a fish till the end of the 4 or 5 day cruise.  The $1000 should cover most of the tab.  There you go... your own personal drink package.  I personally don't want or need other "Sailors" supplementing my drinking.  That is really what the drink packages are.  I pay more for the cruise to have all inclusive drinks.  I don't drink alcohol just for the heck of it to make the package work out for me.  I normally get 5 beers perday at $8 average.  $40 a day for me.  Lots less than an average drink package.  10 years ago the idea of all inclusive drink packages were just catching on.  Most folks I know like the idea of the drink packages but also realize they usually never make out on the plus side due to it.  Just a convenience.

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Virgin just posted typical drink prices in their website...

 

$5-6 Beers (Heineken, Corona, Narragansett, Amstel Light, Kalik)

$9 Cocktails (Tito’s, Tanqueray, Jack Daniels)

42% of wines are under $10 a glass

 

All tips are included. 

 

Very reasonable and certainly less than land-based hotel or NYC prices. 

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8 minutes ago, younglegend said:

Virgin just posted typical drink prices in their website...

 

$5-6 Beers (Heineken, Corona, Narragansett, Amstel Light, Kalik)

$9 Cocktails (Tito’s, Tanqueray, Jack Daniels)

42% of wines are under $10 a glass

 

All tips are included. 

 

Very reasonable and certainly less than land-based hotel or NYC prices. 

I will most definitely make out on the plus side here.  Thanks.  I am a Narragansett guy my self.  The beer from the movie "Jaws".  Maybe I may drink 6 beers on a day or two.

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Much more reasonable than I thought! Reminds me of NCL prices 10 years ago. I like the package just for budgeting purposes, but this sounds great. Thanks for the update! 👍

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14 hours ago, younglegend said:

Virgin just posted typical drink prices in their website...

 

$5-6 Beers (Heineken, Corona, Narragansett, Amstel Light, Kalik)

$9 Cocktails (Tito’s, Tanqueray, Jack Daniels)

42% of wines are under $10 a glass

 

All tips are included. 

 

Very reasonable and certainly less than land-based hotel or NYC prices. 

https://www.virginvoyages.com/onboard/events-and-gigs

virgin drinks.jpg

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WELL, THERE YOU GO!  IT DOES LOOK LIKE THERE WILL BE A DRINK PACKAGE...

 

... of sorts for "sailors" in MegaRockstarSuites:

 

Daily bar tab

Put it on your tab — the Mega RockStar tab. Indulge in complimentary drinks and bottles of wine on us* (*with reasonable limits of course).

 

 

This was added since my last visit.  It would be reasonable to exclude ultra premium liquors and wines, which the choice of words suggests to me.  But it sounds even better than the NCL free drink package in that there's no payment for gratuities; it's all inclusive in the room.

 

Note that this does not apply to Rockstar Suites, which only include the "first round" of minibar offerings.  But again, the language suggests the mini bar will not be just the typical minibar.

 

OP... back your bags.

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1 hour ago, rbt001 said:

WELL, THERE YOU GO!  IT DOES LOOK LIKE THERE WILL BE A DRINK PACKAGE...

 

... of sorts for "sailors" in MegaRockstarSuites:

 

Daily bar tab

Put it on your tab — the Mega RockStar tab. Indulge in complimentary drinks and bottles of wine on us* (*with reasonable limits of course).

 

 

This was added since my last visit.  It would be reasonable to exclude ultra premium liquors and wines, which the choice of words suggests to me.  But it sounds even better than the NCL free drink package in that there's no payment for gratuities; it's all inclusive in the room.

 

Note that this does not apply to Rockstar Suites, which only include the "first round" of minibar offerings.  But again, the language suggests the mini bar will not be just the typical minibar.

 

OP... back your bags.

 

Probably paying the Mega Rick Star Suite pricing would total up to significantly more than paying per drink in a normal balcon room. I'm not going to book a suite just to have a "drink package". I've already got my cruises through 2021 planned out anyway now, so I will revisit once I am looking for new sailings.

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